Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Salvation Army in Puerto Rico: A True Salvation to its Neighbors

I was lucky enough to speak with the director of the Salvation Army in Ponce, Puerto Rico. These photos are of the Salvation Army's church and a gymnasium, open to the community for use. The gymnasium doubles as a drop-off center.

The director tells me the Salvation in Ponce raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community. Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, has taken a hard economic hit like the rest of the country. Jobs are scarce. The Ponce salvation army helps needy families keep their lights on and pay vital bills.

The sign above reads: "My Neighborhood is my Body. Our mission in the body of Ponce," followed by the bible quote, "This is the time that god has chosen us to give us salvation." - Lucas 4:18-19

Have you heard of the Salvation Armies in America offering this kind of community-oriented service? I've never investigated it. I'll have to talk to the directors in the US next.
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  1. I had the opportunity to work as a temp for the Salvation Armies Corporate Headquarters in Southern California. An amazing organization really. They are a business, but help those in need as well. lanasdream

  2. That's good to know! Thank you for the info from the inside!

  3. Nice looking building! Thanks for the comment on my blog-- you had a birthday recently-- I had forgotten that. So Happy Belated Birthday, Miss Libra!

    1. The Salvation Army church was even more gorgeous in person. Thanks for the b-day wish!

  4. It is true the SA works a lot with our communities, and I'm proud to say that puertoricans do give a lot to them. I think it's awesome you had the oportunity to talk to someone that's on the inside. They've actually opened a new store in SJ but outside of the OSJ, which is awesome I still have to go and check it out.

  5. I wish I would have had a chance to see it (and hang out, man, that political rallying there is crazy! Did you vote today?) I love that they work with the communities and give back.

  6. That is wonderful! How about that, a church and a gym as well. :) I don't know about here in the USA and I have never been to the Salvation Army either. I want to go thrift shopping one of these days.

    1. I mean there are Salvation Army stores here, but I have not heard of the said service. :)

    2. I've shopped at them, they are on the expensive side but they do tend to have a calendar in the front of the store advertising their specials and "half off" days. The furniture can be the same as retail price, but if it's vintage the value for the rabid collector is priceless.

      I haven't seen them help the community the same way they do in Puerto Rico, but I've heard of them providing disaster relief in other countries.

  7. no never! they do run a food bank up here but nothing like that...although we are a wealthy state with lots of help for families

    1. I've never heard of the ones in Florida having direct help for the community like that either, but I haven't looked into it.

  8. It's really great that they've contributed to the community like that. Building a gymnasium is great for kids and the community on so many levels.

    Personally, I don't support them by shopping with them because they use a portion of their funds to push anti-LGBT legislation across the world as part of their mission. It's really a shame because they do some really great stuff and the fact that they do stuff like this makes me wish even more that I could shop there or put money in one of their christmas drums-- but I just can't knowing their stance on homosexuality.

    1. I never knew their big anti-LGBT community stance! These conversations continue to teach me and change where I shop, I'm glad we're having them: http://www.bilerico.com/2011/11/why_you_shouldnt_donate_to_the_salvation_army_bell.php

      If I'd have known about that I'd have asked the director if he believes in anti-LGBT policies and supports lobbying against them.

    2. I think in a lot of cases, people either don't know, or put the potential for good in their immediate community above the LGBT issue-- which I disagree with, but hey I get that desperate times call for desperate measures and sometimes we have to pick and choose our battles or have to make a judgment call on the lesser of two evils.

      I never had a Salvation Army in my area, but of course knew about it from reading about it online and in fiction (since they are, along with goodwill, the big names in thrift stores) and for a long time I wished there was one around so I could shop there. Once I learned about this part of their mission though, I was very thankful that by a twist of geographical fate I'd never put a penny towards it.

  9. that is so neat that they do that!

    1. Agreed, I don't believe in their LGBT stance, but at least they're doing good for people in need.

  10. We have a large SA church/gymnasium facility in town! They offer lots of help and programs to the community.

  11. It is nice to see this article about the corp in Ponce. My father was the officer who started the Corp there in the 1960's and we went back again in the late 70's The last time I was there I was 16 yrs old and am now 51. The property looks drastically different then when I lived there. But, that is to be expected. The Salvation Army is spread out all over the world and a Christian Church that is founded of the motto "Soup, Soup and Salvation." In other words we help someone in need, to provide for their basic needs, to become self sufficient and to preach the salvation offered through Christ. We offer it, but don't insist on it. It has been what we do since our founding by William Booth in England in 1865.

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